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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Hilton

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 367-374 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The actual origin of the Hilton family is lost in the obscurity of distant ages, centuries ago; but it is reported to be the oldest family entitled to bear arms in Great Britain. Certain it is that the vast number of legends related of the origin and of the early members are convincing evidence of great antiquity.

The first official mention of Hilton is that of 1166, when it is recorded that "Romanus, Knight of Hilton, holds of ancient feoffment three knights' fees." On June 23, 1295, in the reign of Edward I., Sir Robert, Baron Hilton, was summoned to Parliament, and his son, Sir Alexander, Baron Hilton, was summoned in 1331, under Edward III. While these are the only summonses known to exist, there is abundant evidence that the Barons attended many other parliaments.

The Hiltons quarter their arms with the Nevill, Skirlaw, Percy, Vipont, Percy-Lovaine, Lumley, Eure, Washington, Ogle, Vescy, Felton, Heron, Surtee and Bowe families, and the arms of these families, with others too much worn by the ages to be accurately deciphered, as well as with the arms and banners of England and France, and these are, with their own, beautifully sculptured on the walls of Hilton Castle, at the original family seat, which is in Durham, England.

In the vale of Wear, on the old road to Newcastle, three miles west of Wearmouth Bridge, county of Durham, stands Hilton Castle, low and sequestered, which is, in fact; according to the original name, Heltun. It is an unusually large structure, consisting of a main or central tower, built during the rule of the Danes and Saxons, to which the family undoubtedly belonged, and there are additions erected by the Barons of the Norman and later periods.

On the records their estates consisted of the manors of Hilton, Barmston, Grindon, Ford, Clowcroft, North Biddick, Great Usworth and Fallowsby, in the county of Durham; Carnaby and Wharram-Percy, in the County of Yorke; Elryngton and Woodhall, in Northumberland; Aldstone Moor, in Northumberland and Cumberland, with the advowsons of Kyrkhaulght and Monk-Wearmouth.

(I) In the beginning of the seventeenth century Edward, a son of this ancient house, left Durham, his native county, to follow the sea. He engaged in the fishing industry, serving his apprenticeship, and became master. In 1621 he joined the Fishmongers' Guild at London. No doubt, being familiar with the New England coast through his voyages to the fishing banks of North America, and attracted thereto, he, early in 1623, brought a colony, with servants, cattle, implements and the like, to a place called by the Indians Cocheco, about six miles up the Piscataqua river, in the district known to the natives as Wecanacohunt. Here he settled, naming it Northam. It was later on called Hilton's Poynt, and is now known as Dover, New Hampshire. He likewise named neighboring localities in memory of his home county, such as Durham, Newcastle, Stratham, etc. Thus he was the first settler in what is now New Hampshire, and with reason is known as the father of that state.

In 1628, Edward Hilton, of Cocheco, was assessed the sum of one English pound as his share of the expense of an expedition set afoot by the Plymouth colony, which captured and expelled Thomas Morton from Merrymount, now Wallaston, Massachusetts. His ownership of the lands upon which he had settled is confirmed in the following interesting document, and leaves all such beyond any dispute:

Now know yee that the said President and Councell by Virtue & Authority of his Maj'ties said Letters Pattents and for and in consideracon that Edward Hilton and his Associates hath already at his and their owne proper costs and charges, transported sundry servants to plant in New England aforesaid at a place there called by the natives Wecanacohunt, otherwise Hiltons Point lying some two leagues from the mouth of the River Paskataquack in New England aforesaid where they have already Built some houses and planted Corne, and for that he doth further intend by Gods Divine Assistance, to transport thither more people and cattle, to the good increase and advancement & for the better settling and strengthening of their plantacon as also that they may be the better encouraged to proceed in soe pious a work which may especially tend to the propagacon of Religion and to the increase of trade to his Maj'ties Realmes and Dominions, and the advancement of publique plantacons, Have given, Granted, Enfeoffed and Confirmed and by this their p'sent writing doe fully, clearly and absolutely give, grant, enfeoffe and Confirme unto the said Edward Hilton his heires and assignes for ever, all that part of the River Pascataquack called or known by the name of Wecawacohunt or Hiltons Point, with the south side of the said River, up to the ffall of the River, and three miles into the Maine Land by all the breadth aforesaid, Together with all the Shoares, Creeks, Bays, Harbors and Coasts, alongst the sea within the limitts and bounds aforesaid with the woods and Islands next adjoyneing to the said Lands, not being already granted by the said Councell unto any other person or persons together alsoe with all the Lands, Rivers, Mines, Mineralls of what kinds or nature soever, Woods, Quarries, Marshes, Waters, Lakes, ffishings, Huntings, Hawkings, ffowlings, Comodities, Emoluments and hereditaments whatsoever withall and singular their and every of their app'ts in or within the limitts or bounds aforesaid or to the said Lands lying within the same limitts or bounds belonging or in any wise appertaining, To have and to hold all and singular the said Lands and p'mises, with all and singular the Woods, Quarries, Marshes, Waters, Rivers, Lakes, ffishings, ffowlings, Hawkings, Huntings, Mynes, Mineralls of what kinde or nature soever, Priviledges, Rights, Jurisdicons, Libbertyes, Royalties and all other profits * * * In witness whereof the said Councell for the affaires of New England in America aforesaid, have hereunto caused their comon Seale to be putt the twelfth day of March Anno Dmi 1629 and in the fifth yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the Grace of God of England, Scotland, ffrance and Ireland, defender of the ffaith &c.
Ro: WARWICKE.

It will be noted that this important family document was signed by the celebrated Earl.

It was only a few years later that this same Edward Hilton took an active part in protecting the inhabitants from pirates infesting the coast and high seas, for the following is recorded under date of December 5, 1632: "By letters from Captain Neal and Mr. Hilton at Pascataquack it was certified that they had sent out all the forces they could make against the pirates, viz., four pinnaces and shallops, and about forty men." In 1633 Mr. Hilton sold a large portion of his patent to some merchants of Bristol, England.

On the fourth day of the first week of the 10th month of 1639, the authorities of the adjoining town of Exeter made Mr. Hilton a large grant of land, and shortly afterward he moved there, where, in 1652, it was "voted that Mr. Hilton be requested to go along with Mr. Dudley to the General Court to assist him." In 1653 another grant of land of about two miles square, comprehending the site of the whole village of Newmarket, was made to him, "in regard to his charges in setting up a saw-mill." In 1665 "it is testified that Mayor Shapleigh hath lately made leases of lands for 1,000 years to Mr. Hilton of Exeter, Dr. Barefoot and others."

That the people of his neighborhood regarded him in esteem is clearly shown by this entry in the records of May 19, 1669: "The Court on Perusall of the articles of agreement between this Colony and the inhabitants of Dover, etc., several of them well remembering that Mr. Edward Hilton was one of those that were commissioned to agree with this Court in behalf of the inhabitants of Piscataqua, doe declare that Mr. Edward Hilton is according to the articles, justly exempted from the county rates and that accordingly he be freed from such impositions."

Mr. Hilton was, like his friends, Mason and Gorges, an ardent supporter of the Church of England. He was neither of the Pilgrims of the Plymouth colony nor of the Puritans, who soon after settled Massachusetts, and consequently he settled in a distant part to be free from their quarrels and able to manage his own affairs. He maintained a garrison on his plantation, and as he was a gentleman of good judgment the settlers looked to him for protection and advice when in danger or in trouble, and when, in 1641, Massachusetts usurped the jurisdiction of New Hampshire, be was the first one named in the list of magistrates. He was a man of wealth, enterprise and influence, possessed of the friendship of the governors of Massachusetts, and was their confidential correspondent. He died in Exeter, early in 1671, at a considerably advanced age, leaving an estate which in the equivalent of to-day would be reckoned at about $100,000, on which letters of administration were granted to his sons, Edward, William, Samuel and Charles, March 6, 1670-1.

The name of his first wife is unknown, but by her he had the following six children:

  1. Edward, born 1626 (see forward).
  2. William, born 1628; a sea captain and commander; made the noted voyage to the southward on the Atlantic coast in 1662, when he discovered and named many places, among them Hilton Head, South Carolina, and of this voyage he wrote a full report which his stepuncle, Major Nicholas Shapleigh, mapped, the reprint of which was recently published during a celebration in Charleston, South Carolina; died in 1690, leaving three sons, Richard, John and William.
  3. Samuel, remained in Exeter.
  4. Charles, born about 1638; died at Exeter, 1684, unmarried.
  5. Mary, married Christopher Palmer, of Hampton, New Hampshire.
  6. Sobriety, married, November 20, 1651, Henry Moulton, of Hampton, New Hampshire.

Edward Hilton married (second) Katharine Shapleigh (Treworthy), daughter of Alexander Shapleigh, who was agent for Mason and Gorges, and widow of James Treworthy, who had been killed by Indians; by whom he had a daughter Elizabeth, who married, at Exeter, in 1659, Captain John Gilman.

(II) Edward (2), son of Edward (1) Hilton, was born at Northam, New Hampshire, in 1626.

By reason of a conflagration and carelessness, vast numbers of the early records of about this period have been destroyed; hence the family historian lacks statistics, many dates, and much of the story of the first settlers and their children, and nearly all the data had to be compiled from what had been preserved by individuals or recorded in state and provincial documents. The Hiltons fought the Indians for a foothold in America. They were numerous in all the Indian and colonial wars, and all those who were able took an active and some a prominent part in the revolutionary army. William Hilton was a pallbearer at General Washington's funeral. The muster-rolls of the civil war will reveal many of them at the front, and altogether they have had no inconsiderable part in preparing and establishing the country the later descendants now enjoy.

Edward Hilton, the eldest son, received the major share of his father's property. He was active in the affairs of his community, taking his father's place on the plantation, maintaining the garrison to defend it, and interesting himself in local matters. He was not prominent in politics, and we find few traces of him in the larger concerns of public life; but he was a highly respected citizen and a soldier. He seems to have been much in the company of his father, as their names appear together on many documents.

On January 17, 1660, he received a tract of land from the Indians, as here set forth:

"Wadononamin, Sagamore of Washucke and Piscataqua, for ye love I bear to Englishmen, and especially to Edward Hilton of Piscataqua, eldest son of Edward Hilton of ye same Piscataqua, Gent'm of ye said Collony, as for divers other reasonable causes and considerations me thereunto moving, have voluntarily and freely given… to said Edward Hilton, Jun., all my lands lying bounded between two branches of Lamprell river called Washucke, being about six miles in length and in breadth about some places of it six miles… Reserving for himself only a convenient planting place for life."

In 1693, Edward Hilton strengthened his garrison by the addition of two more men.

He married Ann Dudley, born at Salisbury, Massachusetts, October 16, 1641, daughter of Rev. Samuel Dudley, who was born at Canons Ashley, England, 1606; eldest son of Thomas Dudley, many times elected governor of Massachusetts Colony, and his first wife, Dorothy Yorke. Rev. Samuel Dudley came to America in 1630 with his father and Governor Winthrop. Ann Dudley's mother was Mary, eldest child of John Winthrop, first governor of the Massachusetts colony, and his first wife, Mary Forth, of Great Stambridge, Essex county, England. Children:

  1. Winthrop, born about 1671; was the celebrated Colonel Winthrop Hilton, soldier and statesman, leading the expedition against Port Royal, as well as several expeditions against the Indians to the eastward. He was the scourge of the redskins, and in 1705 destroyed the mission village of Norridgewock. In 1709 he was appointed a judge of the court of common pleas, in 1709 was appointed a councilor for the province. On June 23, 1710, the Indians, who had made many previous attempts, succeeded in surprising him while at work on his farm, and killed him and two of his men, capturing at the same time his brother Dudley.
  2. Dudley, who was carried off by the Indians when they killed his elder brother, Winthrop, and was never afterward heard of by his friends.
  3. Joseph, born about 1681 (see forward).
  4. Jane, married Richard Mattoon, of Newmarket.
  5. Ann, married Richard Hilton, son of her uncle William.
  6. Mary, married Joseph Hall, of Exeter, New Hampshire.
  7. Sobriety, married Jonathan Hilton.

(III) Joseph, son of Edward (2) Hilton and Ann Dudley, was born about 1681. He was a sailor, and is called in the records "Ensign." He married (first) October 16, 1709, Hannah, daughter of Richard Jose, sheriff of the province, by whom one child, a daughter; married (second) October 10, 1716, Rebecca Atkinson (Adams), widow of Israel Adams (who had died in 1714 in less than two months after her marriage to Adams) and daughter of Theodore Atkinson, a very prominent citizen of Portsmouth. Children:

  1. Hannah, born August 11, 1710.
  2. Israel, born October 10, 1717; went to the Carolinas.
  3. Joseph, followed his brother.
  4. Theodore, of Newmarket; married Mary Sinclair, and became father of Colonel Joseph Hilton, of Deerfield; active officer in the revolutionary army; died in 1826.
  5. Dudley, married Sarah Taylor (see forward). Ensign Joseph died 1765, aged eighty-four years.

(IV) Dudley, son of Joseph Hilton and Rebecca Atkinson (Adams), resided in Newmarket, New Hampshire. He married Sarah Taylor. Children:

  1. Dudley, lived at Parsonsfield, Maine.
  2. Daniel, born at Newmarket, June 16, 1758. (see forward).
  3. George, of Newmarket, died September 2, 1821; married Mary Wiggin; had one child, George Oliver, long a member of the New Hampshire house of representatives.
  4. Ward, of Newmarket.
  5. Nathan, of Deerfield.
  6. Ann, married Major William Norris, of Newmarket.
  7. Chace, of Newmarket; died July 26, 1786.

(V) Daniel, son of Dudley Hilton and Sarah Taylor, was born at Newmarket, New Hampshire, June 16, 1758, and died in Meredith Village, New Hampshire, shortly after March, 1822. He was a merchant and trader, holding several government offices by appointment. He served in the revolution, and was a corporal in Captain Robert Pike's company, in 1777. He joined his only son Daniel at Meredith Village, New Hampshire, March 9, 1822, and died there shortly after. He married, in 1783, Sarah Wiggin, born June 5, 1761, daughter of Simon Wiggin, the son of Lieutenant Simon Wiggin, whose father was Captain Simon Wiggin, son of Andrew Wiggin and his wife, Hannah Bradstreet. Andrew Wiggin was son of Governor Thomas Wiggin, who came to Piscataqua in 1630. Hannah Bradstreet was daughter of Governor Simon Bradstreet and his wife, the first American poetess and celebrated writer, as well as social leader, Anne Dudley, daughter of Governor Thomas Dudley, and sister of Governor Joseph Dudley. The Dudleys trace their ancestry back to Henry I. of France, and Edward the Elder, of England. Daniel Hilton's children were all by his first wife, Sarah Wiggin, who died July 24, 1799, and he married (second) in 1801, Elizabeth Rowe, who died December 8, 1819. Children:

  1. Sarah, born August 11, 1784; died in infancy.
  2. Charlotte, born November 2, 1785, died aged two years.
  3. Chace, born May 9, 1788, died in infancy.
  4. Charlotte, born September 4, 1789, married Dr. Odell, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  5. Nancy, born March 20, 1792, married Mr. Weeks, of Portsmouth.
  6. Daniel, born April 21, 1794 (see forward).

Addenda from p. xlvii in Vol. IV: Copies of headstones in Hilton burying plot at Meredith, N. H.:

Capt. Daniel was the father of Maj. Daniel, who was the father of Maj. Charles, father of Col. George.

(VI) Daniel (2), son of Daniel (1) Hilton and Sarah Wiggin, was born at Newmarket, New Hampshire, April 21, 1794, and died at Meredith Village, New Hampshire. When young he removed from Newmarket to Meredith Village, where he engaged in farming, and resided there all his life. He married, February 10, 1822, Elizabeth Lamprey Moulton, born May 12, 1799; died May 12, 1869, daughter of Benning Moulton and Sally Leavitt, and granddaughter of General Jonathan Moulton, noted Indian fighter, revolutionary officer, merchant, and crony of Governor Benning Wentworth, after wbom he named his son. Jonathan Moulton was a resident of Hampton, New Hampshire, and is the hero of many traditions; celebrated in song and story. He left a large estate including 80,000 acres of land, to a family of no less than eighteen children. The general was a grandson of Lieutenant John Moulton, called "the Giant," born in Newbury, Massachusetts, March 16, 1638, son of John Moulton, who came to New England with a wife and five children from the county of Norfolk, England, early in 1637, and was the first settler of Winnacunnet, now Hampton. Children:

  1. Amanda Moulton, born December 7, 1822; married Mr. Garman; had daughter, died unmarried.
  2. George, born December 27, 1825, died in childhood.
  3. Charles, born at Meredith Village, New Hampshire (see forward).
  4. George Oliver, born February 1, 1832, died young.
  5. Huntington Porter, born December 4, 1835 (named for uncle, Rev. Huntington Porter), died Rochester, New York, 1886; married, no issue.
  6. George Selwyn, born February 21, 1840; moved to Paterson, New Jersey, where he became a lawyer of repute; married, no issue.

(VII) Charles Hilton, son of Daniel (2) Hilton and Elizabeth Lamprey Moulton, was born in Meredith Village, New Hampshire, July 24, 1829, and died at Albany, New York, December 1, 1884.

When a youth he was very prominent in the affairs of his native village. He was a leader in the debating society and a member of the Rifle Corps, distinguished by permanent organization and regulation uniform and equipment from the "slam-bangs," as the train bands that met for drill once a year were called. After three years' study in Brown's architectural and engineering office in Lowell, Massachusetts, he joined the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad as civil engineer, and two years later transferred his energies to the Attica & Alleghena Railroad, shortly afterwards entering the service of the New York Central railroad, with headquarters in Albany, where in 1858 he established his home. In 1865 he became chief engineer of the Central, and wzs in charge of many large and important works, including both bridges over the Hudson river and the Broadway viaduct in Albany, and the Grand Central Station and grain elevators in New York City. He was sometime division engineer on the Erie Canal, deputy state engineer, and major of engineers of the Ninth Brigade, N. G. N. Y., on the staff of General Dickerman. In 1878 he organized the Hilton Bridge Construction Company, located in North Albany. As an engineer he was eminent and successful, and his position and reputation in the profession were of the highest, while his expert opinion was in great demand in and out of the courts. Socially he was much sought after. He was prominent in Masonic circles, and reached the thirty-second degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In 1863 he was master of Temple Lodge, No. 14, and from 1865 to 1867 was high priest of Temple Chapter. He was also for several years eminent commander of Temple Commandery. Major Hilton was a member of the Old Guard of the Burgesses Corps. In politics he was an earnest, consistent and unwavering Democrat.

He married, at La Salle, Niagara county, New York, February 15, 1856, Mary Etta McWhorter, born at Cincinnatus, Cortlandt [i.e., Cortland] county, New York, September 1, 1832, died at Albany, September 15, 1907, daughter of Zurial McWhorter and Polly Fairchild. The McWhorter family line of descent is as follows:

The McWhorters descend from Mortough, otherwise Murchertach MacEarcha, son of Muiredach, son of Eogan, and grandson of Niall the Great. He was called MacEarcha, that is, son of Earcha, from the name of his mother, who was the daughter of Loarne, the eldest of the six brothers who had led the colony to Albania, as Scotland was anciently called. Mortough succeeded Lugha VII. as monarch of Ireland, in the year 503, and reigned until 533. He was no less remarkable for his Christian piety than for his valor as a warrior. He afforded particular protection to religion, as did his wife Sabina, who died with a high reputation for sanctity. In the reign of this monarch, Oilioll, son of Murtough, reigned in Leinster, and Cormac, descended in the eighth degree from Oilioll Olum by Eagan-More, in Munster. The Daliads of Ulster made their last colonization expedition into Albania at the close of the fifth century, when some of the family of Murchertach settled there, and are now to be found a small clan in the Galloway district, spelling the name McWhirter.

In Armagh, Ulster, Ireland, the original seat of the Murchertachs, or McWhorters, as it is now written, some differences of opinion amongst those of the Arminian view of worship led to a separation in the congregation, and in 1759 about three hundred of the members, mostly from Monoghan and Ballibay, formed a new church organization in the latter town, where they called the Rev. Thomas Clark to be their pastor. Persecution caused them to sail in a body, May 10, 1764, to New York, where they landed July 28th, and remained for a short time in order to look about for a place of settlement, finally going to Stillwater, New York, where they waited until Dr. Clark had closed negotiations for a large tract of land in Charlotte, now Washington county, New York, and in 1766 they founded a town, calling it New Perth, now known as Salem, New York. Here they organized the first Presbyterian church.

One of these immigrants, an enthusiastic supporter of and large contributor to the enterprise, was Elder Matthew McWhorter, whose kinsman, Solomon Barr, was the first of the colony to die. Elder Matthew was an active citizen. He enlisted in the revolutionary army and received land grants for his services. He also represented Charlotte in the New York legislature in 1780-81-82, sitting in Poughkeepsie, Kingston and Albany.

Matthew McWhorter's son John studied medicine, became a physician, and started practicing in Unadilla, New York, from which place he went with a number of others, through Oxford, into Cortland county, where in 1795 they settled on some military land tracts, thus founding the town of Cincinnatus, New York. One of the company, Zurial Raymond, had married the widow Young, in Williamstown, and obtained through her land grants given her deceased husband for his services in the war, and his stepdaughter, Miss Young, a very interesting and accomplished young lady, as it is related, became wife of Dr. John McWhorter. He was the first physician in Cortland county, built in 1802 the first frame house in Cincinnatus, and his was the first marriage there. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, an active and prominent citizen, and was elevated to responsible positions at various periods. From 1802 to 1809 he was a member of the legislature, and was several times appointed surrogate. He had one son and four daughters, the son being named Zurial.

Zurial McWhorter was born in Cincinnatus, New York, January 12, 1803, and died at Niagara Falls, February, 1882. He married, at Pitcher, New York, August 17, 1824, Polly Fairchild, born in that place, September 25, 1805, died at La Salle, New York, October 2, 1881. In 1848 Zurial McWhorter moved with his family to La Salle, Niagara county, where he settled on a farm; all his children were born in Cincinnatus, New York. Children of Zurial McWhorter and Polly Fairchild:

  1. James Benjamin, born September 2, 1826;
  2. William Henry, August 10, 1828;
  3. John Raymond, July 26, 1830;
  4. Mary Etta, September 1, 1832, married Charles Hilton;
  5. Franklyn, February 7, 1835;
  6. Zurial, Jr., April 27, 1837;
  7. Sarah Amelia, August 9, 1844, married George T. Briggs;
  8. Pratt Fairchild, July 2, 1845.

Children of Charles Hilton and Mary Etta McWhorter:

  1. Charles McWhorter, born at Cortland, New York, May 2, 1857; civil engineer, located in New York City in 1910, married, Peekskill, New York, April 2, 1882, Mary Ida Cassells, born at Tompkins Cove, New York, September 16, 1863, daughter of James Cassells and Anna Cushman; by whom:
    1. Harriet Kidd, born at Tompkins Cove, New York, December 24, 1882.
  2. George Porter, born at Albany, New York, March 19, 1859 (see forward).
  3. Frank Perine, born at Albany, July 12, 1861; engaged in brokerage business in New York City in 1910; married, at Cohoes, New York, February 15, 1885, Emma Adelaide Brockway, born at Cohoes, daughter of Henry Brockway and Ellen Paine; by whom:
    1. Alice Brooks, born at Cohoes, November 20, 1886.
  4. Harriet Kidd, born at Albany, September 15, 1870; married, Albany, November 15, 1899, Henry Alden Ten Eyck, born at New York, New York, March 23, 1869, son of Leonard Gansevoort Ten Eyck and Alice Mary Alden; by whom:
    1. George Hilton, born at Albany, New York (as were all the other children), September 10, 1900;
    2. Charles Alden, July 11, 1904;
    3. Theodore, October 26, 1905;
    4. Robert Earle, June 19, 1907;
    5. Mary Hilton, March 4, 1909, died at Albany, February 20, 1910.

(VIII) George Porter Hilton, son of Charles Hilton and Mary Etta McWhorter, was born in Albany, New York, March 19, 1859, and died at his home, No. 240 State street, Albany, October 7, 1909.

He received his education partly in the Albany Academy and then at the Albany high school, from which he was graduated in 1877. Thereafter he entered Amherst College, graduating in 1881 and receiving the degree of B.A. In July of the same year he began his business career, taking a position in the office of the Hilton Bridge Construction Company of Albany, located near the Erie canal in North Albany, of which his father was the head. He was made vice-president and engineer of the concern, and upon the death of his father he and the late Elnathan Sweet continued the business until its absorption by the American Bridge Company in 1900. During his administration of its affairs the Hawk street viaduct and also that of the Northern Boulevard were constructed at the works for the city, being two of the greatest engineering improvements in Albany. In 1902 he became manager of the John G. Myers estate, giving his close attention to the large establishment, and it was while he was at the head of it that the handsome new building was erected on North Pearl street, which is widely known as one of the leading dry goods stores in the entire state. After the change to a copartnership he was one of the firm.

He was known as a man much concerned in military matters, athletics, business, religion, and advancement of civic affairs, in the strict sense that all these drew his close attention and absorbed his time, yet he ranked none of them ahead of his strong love for an ideal home life. His association with the National Guard extended over a long period and gave him a wide acquaintance with both men and officers both at home and in other cities, for in 1898 he was made colonel and inspector-general of the New York State National Guard. The minutes of the Old Guard of Company A, Albany Zouave Cadets, record the fact that he was "one of its most lovable and best loved members," and that his intimates regarded him as being unusually "public-spirited, genial, genuine, honorable in all things — a thorough gentleman and a good soldier."

Possibly he was known best for his energetic work as president of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, in which effort for the improvement of the whole city and for the good of all its citizens he took the greatest delight. One can find no more fitting expression or estimate his personal worth more closely than in the words of that body when his activities were over:

"The shadow of a great sorrow is now resting heavily upon this Chamber of Commerce in the sudden death of its President, Major George P. Hilton. A member of this body since its organization; for three terms its vice-president and twice chosen its president, its success and efficiency are in a large measure owing to his intelligent interest in all its activities and to his splendid executive ability. In the full strength of bodily vigor, with mental powers unimpaired, bearing the multitudinous details of the great civic festival of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration, the success of which in so large a measure depended upon his intelligent direction and untiring zeal, the summons came, and the ties of business, social life and family relationship are suddenly severed, while the city pauses in its rejoicings and sorrowully pays its silent tribute of respect to one of its foremost citizens. Possessing great executive ability, he gave to this organization in full measure his time and strength, and with infinite patience met its every demand with cheerful and efficient service. Genial and lovable in his personality, and with a cheerful optimism that was unruffled under any stress of work, he found time in the midst of exacting duties of the great business interests in which his own fortune and that of his family were largely invested, to give to the performance of civic duties a strength rarely equalled. To his church he freely gave his services as custodian of its finances, and to the financial institutions of our city, upon whose boards of directors he was an efficient member, he gave a measure of personal attention rarely equalled, and yet he found time and abundant opportunity to devote a large measure of his business talent to this organization, in an unselfish love for the city of his birth. He was a man of strict integrity, spotless reputation, warm-hearted, tender and beneficent, his benefactions many and various."

He was a director of the First National Bank of Albany, and was appreciated by his confreres, who said of him:

"Mr. Hilton was a man of stalwart physique, in the prime of life at the time of his death, surrounded by all that makes life happy, with every prospect of continued success, engaged in public affairs as well as large private enterprises, and in every position which he occupied he was fearless, determined, aggressive, and at the same time sagacious, considerate and kind. By birth, education and practice he was a gentleman. Free from ostentation and desire for public applause, he nevertheless was recognized as one of our foremost citizens, occupying positions of honor and trust. A man of wide experience, a mind enriched by travel and reading, an excellent judge of human nature, acquired by years of personal acquaintance with men of all stations in life, a man of decision and promptitude, he was unusually equipped with that which makes most valuable the managing head of an institution."

Major Hilton was identified with many other important institutions, and was trustee and treasurer of the Corning Foundation of Christian Work in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany; treasurer of the Cathedral of All Saints; trustee of the Albany Medical College; director of the National Exchange Bank and of the Schenectady Trust Company; vice-president of the Albany Trust Company; tenor soloist of St. Peter's Church under Organist Philip Hale; and had membership in the Fort Orange, Albany University, Racquet, Camera and Albany Country clubs, the Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society, American Association of Engineers, New York Yacht Club, the Triton Club of Canada, and New York University Club.

His death took place on the eve of the Hudson-Fulton celebration in Albany, for which he had worked indefatigably and of which he was the moving spirit. It consequently was a shock to the people of Albany, and when his funeral occurred on October 10, 1909, it was attended by a vast concourse of people in every walk in life, all moved by a feeling of a deep and sincere loss.

Bishop Doane read the following tribute to George Porter Hilton at a meeting of the Chapter of the Cathedral of All Saints, and it was adopted by the Chapter:

"Meeting under the sudden and severe shock of a second sorrow; meeting to elect one and finding ourselves called upon to elect a second member of the Chapter of the Cathedral of All Saints, those of us who survive make record here of our great personal grief and of our grave and irreparable loss. We have just, in a few and simple words, recorded our loving memory of William Bayard Van Rensselaer, and now the death of George Porter Hilton reopens the old wound. Rich in intelligence and cultivation, with tireless energy of resource, with the reserve force of a young, active, strong physical frame, Mr. Hilton early won his way to leadership and dominant influence in the affairs of the city. As president of the Chamber of Commerce, he had the chance of inaugurating and directing many of the public movements along the line of business activity. His dauntless courage when the falling in of the foundations and the following fire wrecked his big business building was simply heroic, and won the victory. With all the tireless activity and constant absorption in public affairs, he had time and taste for other things; for genial companionship, for reading, for the joys and delights of his dear home, and for the outdoor life. He had a genius for friendship and won and held men to him. In all his home relations he was devoted to the older as well as to the present generation. People didn't stop to think of Mr. Hilton's integrity, but only of his individual responsibility in anything he ever undertook to do. As treasurer of both St. Agnes School and of the Cathedral, he was an essential part of all our work here, and the substratum of all his power was his devout, consistent, reverent religious faith. His worship was his delight and his joy in the Cathedral services intense. And so, ready on every hand, he passed instantly from what seemed full-blooded physical life into the life that has in it the fullness of all joy, physical and spiritual, in the power of a perfect, unhampered service."

Major George Porter Hilton married, in Albany, September 14, 1899, Jessie Kenyon Myers, daughter of John G. Myers and Mary Augusta Young. (See Myers). Issue: John Gillespy Myers Hilton, born at Albany, New York, May 11, 1901.

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